Got up at 6am today, we had an 11 hour journey ahead of us to Airlie Beach. Left Kroombit at 6.45am. We travelled until lunch only stopping for quick toilet breaks and petrol. Passed through the Tropic of Capricorn - you could tell the weather was changing. We were now entering the wet season and it already looked like it would rain. For lunch one of the bus drivers cooked us an amazing BBQ with lots of salads, bubble and squeak, meats and some yummy fish. We headed on again and our next main stop was in the town of Serina where we had a game of barefoot lawn bowls. We were all so rubbish and kept bowling into each others games but our team still won :) Finally arrived in Airlie Beach at 6pm. Checked in to our hostel and sorted out all our stuff for our sailing trip. The cyclone which had hit a few days before had now gone back out to sea so our trip was still on. That evening we headed down to the bar to meet our oz experience bus group for dinner and free drinks and nibbles. We left early and went to bed as we weren't feeling too good.
We woke up today to pouring rain, and had to carry all our bags down to the Oz Sail office to check in and put our bags in storage. Got rather wet. We headed off to McDonalds for breakfast before doing a bit of shopping and having some lunch. It was still pouring with rain and we had to walk down to the docks to meet the boat, getting very wet again. Our boat, Frieght Train, was over 3 hours late returing from its previous trip as it had run our of fuel! When it finally arrived it had a quick clean and got restocked before we got onboard and departed at 3pm. The rain had finally stopped (for a while anyway). Our crew, of rather pervy men, introduced themselves and went through a safety briefing before allocating us beds. Fran and I had to share a double as there wasn't that many single beds. The bed was smaller than a normal double and was just a foamy mattress and a sheet and pillow. The distance between the bed and the roof of the boat was about 1 1/2 feet so it was rather cramped and I was right over in the corner. Once underway we both started to feel a little seasick so Fran had a lie down and I went up on to deck to get some fresh air. It made me feel so much better and I stayed up there chatting to the others and eating snacks until it started to rain and sent us downstairs into the main cabin. We arrived at our site for the night and had dinner, which was cooked by Steve the chef. We had to eat on deck, although they put up covers but it was still windy and cold. After dinner we played drinking games. It was strange as we never really introduced ourselves to each other so it never really felt like we bonded at all, unlike on Fraser Island. Kev (our skipper) came to talk to us for a bit, about jellyfish and sharks :s We ended up heading back down into the cabin as the rain got really heavy. However it got so hot down there that after a while we headed back on deck and continued playing games. We went to bed at 1am but it was so hot and the roof was leaking I found it hard to sleep. The boat was also swaying a lot throught the night and the rain was pounding heavily on the deck which sounded so loud just above our heads. Somehow I managed to get a couple of broken hours of sleep.
Up at 6.30am, had a bit of breakfast but felt so seasick I ended up being sick. Kept throwing up my seasickness tablets, not the best thing. Luckily we stopped in a bay near Whithaven Beach and headed to land :):) There were lots of turtles in the water swimming around and bobbing their heads up. Once on land we went on a walk up Hill Inlet to a lookout point before heading down to Whitehaven beach. We got to spend about 1/2 hour there before we had to head back to get picked up by the dingy and taken back to the boat. Me, Fran and 3 other girls slept for a bit downstairs while we travelled to our next site. The sea was still very rough and choppy with waves apparently reaching up to 3m. Lunch was a very yummy lasagne. That afternoon we changed into our wetsuits and swimwear and went snorkelling. The water was murky due to the rain but we still saw lots of fish swimming around us, although no nemos :( It wasnt as good as I thought it would be. When we got back on the boat we sailed back to our night stop where we had dinner. We were supposed to head over to land and go to the pub but Kev said the water was way too rough and it was too windy and dangerous to go our there. Instead we sat around drinking for a bit but everyone seemed so tired and sleepy we all ended up going to bed early. The boat was rocking even more than last night so little sleep was had again :(
Got up early again as couldnt sleep and put on wet clothes - everything on the boat was wet, it was not a nice feeling. Sat downstairs but the boat was so rocky. When you stood up you would fall to the other side of the boat! We both felt seasick (along with most people on the boat) so went up on deck for some fresh air. We ended up sitting at the back with the skipper. The sun was out today but the water was still really rough and water kept coming over the sides, although most of the time I think Kev was doing it on purpose. The sails were up today and we were heading back to Airlie Beach. Kev was throwing cold water over Fran and I to keep us cool - he said it was the favourite part of his job :s but it didn't help Fran and she ended up decorating the back of the boat on a couple of occasions. We headed straight back to the marina, with a minor detour to find the buoyency aid that had fallen off the back of the boat. Once back on dry land we said our goodbyes and headed back to our hostel for nice hot showers and dry clothes! We decided to go to Dominoes pizza for dinner, mmm :) That evening we headed to the bar to meet our boat group. I stayed for a few drinks then headed off to bed as felt shattered. Fran went out with some of the group to Magnums bar and then off to a club called Mama Africas.
Love Becky.......and Fran